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Results: #LGBT Lobby Demonstrates How Solid Pressure Gets Results in Politics

Results: #LGBT Lobby Demonstrates How Solid Pressure Gets Results in Politics

How Economic Pressure Works.  Wanna watch how green politics on a blue agenda item works in a red state? Watch Indiana right now. 

Remember back in 2013 after George Zimmerman walked for killing Trayvon Martin? Remember what happened next? There was talk of boycotting Florida, and then — POOF — that talk disappeared.  Many claimed a boycott of Florida over the state’s Stand Your Ground law was “too complicated”  and would hurt the wrong people.  That talk was followed by inaction and a BoycottFlorida hashtag that slowly faded on twitter.  Steve Wonder stood alone as he boycotted the state.  Jesse Jackson, Sr. called for a boycott of Florida over Stand Your Ground in July 2013 and was pretty much ignored. 

Compare that to what we’ve seen over the last three days regarding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. The #BoycottIndiana hashtag isn’t showing signs of fading anytime soon.  Does anyone hear anyone saying they’re worried about how pulling business out of Indiana might “hurt the wrong people?” No. 

On Monday, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) announced that the Indiana legislature would act to “clarify” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  This happens after three days of businesses announcing they would leave Indiana and threats from others to do the same.  The economic pressure was joined by pressure from celebrities, the NCAA and the CEO of Apple computer.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act gives businesses a shield from claims of discrimination.  On Sunday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence had a difficult time avoiding saying that plainly on national TV.  Even without Pence’s disastrous interview, the episode is a lesson in the power of the gay lobby combined with the power of threatening people’s money.  The gay lobby has become an effective political force primarily because of money but also because of many well placed individuals who have no problem speaking up loudly in defense of gay issues.  

It’s only two days after Pence’s interview and Republican Mayor of Indianapolis Greg Ballard went against Republican Gov. Pence and denounced the new law. Strongly.

“Our city thrives because we have welcomed and embraced diversity,” said Mayor Ballard. “Religious Freedom Restoration Act threatens what thousands of people have spent decades building. And I won’t allow that to happen without a fight.”

Obviously the Mayor sees the money leaving the city of Indianapolis just as the Governor sees jobs and money leaving the state of Indiana.  When Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced that his company was pulling 1,000 jobs and a $40 million investment out of Indiana immediately — that was the first big shot across the economic bow.  When the CEO of one of the most profitable corporations in the world, Apple, condemned the new Indiana law in a blistering op-ed, that was another.

One thing is for sure: This moment is a lesson in the power of political pressure by members of a particular political community joined with economic boycott.  And as we can see from the last few days, that one two combination scores a knockout in politics almost every time.  

Is the law in Indiana about to be “clarified” this week? Yes.  Has anything changed with the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida? No.